As was the case in Montevideo, we discovered quickly two nights was not enough, so we’ve extended our stay in Buenos Aires through tomorrow. However, we woke up this morning to steady rain, so a long walk like yesterday is not likely. We’ve decided to take in one or more of the city’s hundreds of museums, but they don’t open until late in the morning. That gives me some time to blog.
It’s been said Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America. My initial reaction is the comparison is unfair to Buenos Aires. So far we haven’t been more than about two miles from our hotel, but what we’ve seen is far grander than Paris. Wide boulevards, massive green spaces, and an enormous variety of architecture filled our first full day here.
Our first stop, not far from our hotel, was the Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pilar, just outside the Recoleta Cemetery. We didn’t take any photos inside because we arrived during Mass.
The next stop was the Recoleta Cemetery itself, which is said to be one of the highlights of Buenos Aires. Kathryn and I love cemeteries, so this was a natural destination for us. We strolled for quite some time. I was impressed by the spirituality displayed. Many families here appear to take quite good care of the burial places of their ancestors.
For those of us unfamiliar with Argentinian history, the most familiar resident of the cemetery is Eva Peron. It was also the only mausoleum where we had to wait in line to take a photo.
Kathryn was a little confused by the family name Duarte, but it made more sense when she saw the marker for Eva Peron.
Still inside the Recoleta Cemetery, I have no clue about the significance of the bronze monument pictured above. However, every schoolchild passing through had to touch the dog’s snout. You can see nose is shinier than the rest of the sculpture.
Moving on from the cemetery, we continued on foot along the Avenida del Libertador. This lone blossoming cherry tree caught my attention. I wasn’t expecting cherry blossoms in October, but then we’re in the southern hemisphere, so everything is upside-down.
Grand monuments like this one above are the reason I wanted to see Buenos Aires. This marble sculpture would not have been out of place in Rome, if they could find a square big enough.
Eventually we reached the beautiful Parque 3 de Febrero. It seems like a lot of places in Latin America are named after important historical dates. The park was full of people having picnics and soaking up the sun.
The park has several lakes, traversed by bridges such as the one pictured here. Paddle boats were available to rent, and at least one couple was paddling the lake while we were there.
This beautiful bronze nude is found next to one of the lakes in the park. I asked Kathryn why she never told me about her modeling career. She wasn’t as flattered as I’d hoped.
Eventually we crossed town — how we got there is for another post — and started focusing on religious sites. This one is from the interior of the Basilica of the Most Holy Sacrament. I tried to be unusually discrete taking this photo, since the Blessed Sacrament was on display for adoration.
Then we continued walking to the neoclassical Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, which is of particular interest because it was the seat of our current Holy Father Pope Francis when he was archbishop here.
I’m not going to post a photo of the main altar because it was rather uninteresting compared to the side altars.
Another side altar in the Metropolitan Cathedral. I’m at a loss for words.
It turned out the Metropolitan Cathedral was not merely a holy place, but a place of national patrimony as well. Here is the tomb of one of Argentina’s great liberators, with a full honor guard. As luck would have it, we arrived just in time for the changing of the guard.
Finally, we ended the day with an amazing steak dinner. Rather than bore you with another picture of perfectly cooked South American beef, I’m posting this bottle of beer, served to me as if it were an expensive bottle of wine. It was the exclamation point of a fantastic day in Buenos Aires.